The Golden Knights are holding their annual “locker cleanout day” interviews via Zoom today with DeBoer speaking at 9 AM, players at 11 AM, and GM Kelly McCrimmon at 1:30 PM. We will be updating this page throughout the day with some of the most interesting quotes.
DeBoer on not winning the Stanley Cup
I’ve gotten to know Jon Cooper pretty well over the last few years and it reminds you that between Tampa’s first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final and winning the Stanley Cup there were five years in between. They made two conference finals, they missed the playoffs, and they got swept in the first round after winning the President’s Trophy. There’s pain.
DeBoer on Alec Martinez
I can’t understate the importance of him to our group in the time he’s been here with me. There’s a reason he’s a multiple Stanley Cup winner. There’s a reason you can count on him at the most important time of the year. It’s not an accident he scores than goal the other night. He rises to the occasion at the tough moments and you can never have enough guys like that.
DeBoer on keeping both goalies
The salary cap and that maneuvering is above my paygrade, that’s for Kelly and George to figure out. I can tell you it was obviously an integral part of our success this year, in the unique year we were in. With the condensed schedule and everything that went on it was obviously a blessing this year. Next year is a different story. We’re not in those unique circumstances anymore.
DeBoer on power play
From a coaching perspective, we’ve got to overturn stones and get some things better. The obvious one is the power play, that’s at the top of the list to fix. For me the power play isn’t a this year problem. I didn’t feel it was dangerous enough in the bubble, I thought it was mediocre. At the most important time in the bubble as we went through to the Dallas series it got cold at the wrong time. We shuffled some things, put a new set of eyes on it this year and it stumbled again. That’s going to be the priority moving forward.
DeBoer on young players
When I got the job 18 months ago we wanted to infuse some of the youth. Zach Whitecloud came in and grabbed a job and played regularly. We wanted to get Nic Hague in this year because he deserved to be in there and he did that all year for us. Nic Roy came in. There’s been an influx of youth into our group and there’s more on the horizon. For a young franchise, it’s important to keep infusing that youth, but at the same time it can’t be not earned and it can’t be at the detriment of the group not winning a Stanley Cup. They have to be able to pull their weight. That’s going to be the challenge for those young guys.
DeBoer on young player’s getting chances
The one thing about this organization is a young guy can’t say he never got an opportunity. I think we stuck young guys in all year and tried to put them in situations where they had a chance to succeed. You know, come in play on the first line, play with good players, play on the power play, play good minutes. So I think between injuries and COVID and roster I think the young players in this organization have been given an opportunity to show what they have. Some have seized the moment, some haven’t, some just aren’t ready yet and hopefully in September will be.
Reilly Smith on power play
There weren’t too many rocks that weren’t overturned looking for answers this year. We just didn’t have one consistent approach that seemed to be working.
Reilly Smith on playing with Misfit Line
It’s been a dream come true to be able to play with those guys as long as we have. I truly feel fortunate to be able to share the ice with those guys. Two guys that compete as hard as anyone. I’ve learned a lot playing with them and hopefully I’ve shed some insight for them as well.
Reilly Smith on contract extension (has one year left on deal)
I haven’t had any talks. If I was able to set up a deal myself it would be to finish up the rest of my career here in Vegas. But I know there are a lot of different pieces and it’s not as simple. I’m excited about those talks and where they might lead to.
Mark Stone on DeBoer as head coach
We’ve been to the conference finals back-to-back seasons with him as our coach. I don’t think the transition was easy for the first week or two, but as we started to have more and more success guys have started to buy into what he’s preached. We have a group of guys whose egos get thrown out the door when you walk in. We play to win every night. Obviously, we’re going to have to look at what we can do better. The only team that can say they are happy is the team that wins. We didn’t win so we’ll have to look back and see what we can improve on. I think our system is there. We’re great in our D-Zone all year, we scored goals all year, we just couldn’t get the job done in the key spots.
Mark Stone on challenges of last few seasons
Last year was very mentally difficult… I think this year was obviously different circumstances, but it started to feel more normal. Getting 18,000 in T-Mobile was obviously exciting… As a team you got through these hurdles. I’m glad this is where I am. I’m glad I made this decision to come to Las Vegas and sign for an extended period of time. I feel like the possibilities are endless for this team.
Max Pacioretty on feeling after losing
It still stings to go out against your old team like that… At some point you have to use it as motivation for next year.
Max Pacioretty on power play
It made guys doubt themselves and lose confidence. I think it had a negative impact with confidence and momentum swings.
Alex Pietrangelo on improved play in playoffs
When you play with guys long enough their tendencies kind of become second nature. That’s important for me. Playing in a new system is always different. I started to feel more comfortable with the way Pete wants us to play as things moved on.
Alex Pietrangelo on season and expectations
Was it a successful year in terms of getting to the conference finals, sure, but I feel like we all believe we fell short of our goal here.
Alex Pietrangelo on goalie tandem
Haven’t even thought about (the possibility of them not being back together). Great camaraderie between the two. I mean there’s obviously a great respect between the two of them. The way they helped each other and alternating games kept them fresh. It was a relationship that was fun to watch. Guys who have a really strong pedigree in this league to be able to be that close and respect each other kind of bled into the rest of the team.
Alex Tuch on how close they are to winning
Honestly, I thought we were there this year. We came up short, it was devastating, to say the least. Hats off to Montreal, they played a heck of a series and took it to us in several games. I do see our team improving every year and I know we can take the next step next year.
Alex Tuch on room for growth
I’m going to try and grow in every area of my game. The steps I took were in all three zones. Being a little more physical and I think I was better in the defensive zone.
Mattias Janmark on contract
I knew I got traded here and I had an expiring deal and I wasn’t expecting anything to happen after I got traded. I know this team is very tight against the cap. I loved every minute of it here. For sure I could see myself playing here for longer but it’s a little more complex than that.
Robin Lehner on goalie tandem
It’s been great. I think it was a strength of the team. On some different occasions, I think it’s been blown out of proportion here. Playing with Marc is a privilege. It’s been a pretty special few seasons here with everything that’s been going on. I think we’ve handled it well. It’s not as big as people make it out to be. I think a lot of playoff teams wish they had two. It’s not always about injuries. There are some teams that figure out certain goalies more than other teams so it’s always good to have options. It’s been a pleasure playing with him and we’ll see what happens. He’s a great human being and a great goalie.
Robin Lehner on goalie narrative
The narrative sometimes spins that it’s a negative thing. I get it, Flower is as much of a legend to me as he is to you guys. It’s always a polar opposite thing, there’s always a plus and a minus, but that’s not how we look at it.
Patrick Brown on being UFA
I love it here. It’s a great place to play and I’d love to be back. We’ll see where those discussions got but I have nothing but good things to say. I think this team can win soon and I want to be a part of it.
Alec Martinez on being pending UFA
I’m obviously aware that I am a UFA but the loss is pretty fresh, just a couple days ago. So, I don’t know, I really don’t know yet. We’ll see what happens.
Alec Martinez on playing through injuries
There was a lot of rest. Obviously I couldn’t really talk about it much then but I touched on our medical staff. They did an incredible job in taking care of me day in and day out. It was a broken foot. So I was I guess getting wheeled around a lot. Our medical staff is awesome here. From the doctors to the trainers, really a tip of a cap to those guys.
Marc-Andre Fleury on goalie tandem staying together
I hope so. Our relationship grew over the season. We get along very well. Obviously, as goalies it’s something you strive for, winning games and not giving up too much. Both of us together I think accomplished that this year.
Kelly McCrimmon on season outlook
We had a really consistent, positively successful year. We beat a really good team in Minnesota and the President’s Trophy winner in the 2nd round. Both of those series we were able to win on home ice. This was our best team. We made improvements to our team in terms of personnel. We made improvements in style of play. Like everyone in the organization, I am extremely disappointed to not be headed to the Stanley Cup Final.
Kelly McCrimmon on goalie tandem
I think it worked really well. The Jenning’s Trophy is a pretty good indicator of how well it worked. I think that it helped us in the playoffs as well. We were really fortunate to have two goaltenders as good as we had this year.
Kelly McCrimmon on Cody Glass and Peyton Krebs
Both players are real good prospects. I don’t know if there was any expectation of Peyton to be a candidate to play in the playoffs… He was healthy and available, so he was cleared to play, if the coaches would have selected him. With respect to Cody it was likely a tougher year than he expected. I hope he knows that we believe in him… There’s a long list of players that have been a little later finding their way and we still expect Cody to do that.